On the occasion of the summer session of the Council of Europe, Claude Vivier Le Got, Chairwoman of the FEDE, was elected as Chairwoman of the Education and Culture Committee of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe.

The Council of Europe (47 member states and over 800 million citizens) is the leading human rights defence organisation in Europe. It ensures the primacy of the law, political stability and the promotion of cultural identity in Europe in all its various forms.

Based on an ambitious plan for 2017–2020, Claude Vivier Le Got, along with Julianne Lagadec and Karl Donert (Vice-Chairs), are committed to strengthening the fundamental values of living together in Europe: democracy, human rights and rule of law.

Bolstering respect for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, is not a mere wish… It is a cry that Civil Society must voice. I strongly feel that the European idea is still a young and progressive idea that Civil Society should firmly seize,” explained Claude Vivier Le Got upon her election.

This election echoes the FEDE’s new project, which was engaged in 2015 through new governance.

A project that is open to world and embraces the values of Europe, and, more broadly, those of the Council of Europe.

A project that draws on an ambitious and federative educational framework in order to promote the European spirit and values: human dignity, tolerance, openness to others, peace, human rights, solidarity and democracy.

A project that places Education at the heart of the development of contemporary societies, which considers it as universal and an advocate for the transcendent bond between progress, citizenship and openness to others.

“We place the founding values of the Council of Europe at the heart of the commitments of our Federation. As understanding the Council of Europe of yesterday and tomorrow, is creating an opportunity to ambitiously conceive and build the democracies of tomorrow. It is also transmitting the values that impel us, in order to help establish a new generation of European citizens, and of the world in general, who are exposed to global stakes and advocate for ideals of progress,” explains Claude Vivier Le Got, Chairwoman of the FEDE and new Chairwoman of the Education and Culture Committee of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe.

Discover Claude Vivier Le Got’s speech upon her election:

“My Dear Colleagues,

I do believe that Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

I would like to share with you during the next three years my commitment to Education and culture.

Education is a lifelong right and I advocate for this right to be embraced in the realm of employment. Our companies bear the responsibility of supporting the development of men’s and women’s professional skills.

Education on culture is the best defence against obscurantism and it raises each person’s awareness in terms of his or her position in society, the right to speak and the right to think.

Our INGOs, thanks to their diversity, support this man who is our neighbour as he evolves to become the democratic citizen that he was meant to be, who is capable of facing the emerging challenges brought on by his practices, and developed by globalisation, and which he quite often creates and imagines himself.

The Living Together constitutes one of these stakes, and is the most complicated. It is the most essential as it has been profoundly shaken by the consideration of the digital factor that is altering our practices and forcing us to reconsider education in terms of its relationship with the digital realm and Man in terms of his relationship with digital citizenship.

Access to a job should be the outcome of education and although this fundamental freedom is not synonymous with the capacity to bring happiness, the loss of employment, however, is experienced as the hallmark of social exclusion.  Dignity cannot be decreed, it must be experienced.

I have gathered 5 candidates for the vice-chairmanship, and I consider that our Committee is already endowed with exceptional human wealth as we have committed to working together for the next three years while respecting and considering each other’s projects. A team is assembled before you that is partial to alterity and convinced that democracy is still a novel idea.

The right to education goes hand in hand with access to knowledge, access to culture for all, constituting a true defence against that which is vulgar and spectacular. Knowledge and the quest for truth develop an indispensable spirit of discernment which protects our democracies.

Living together on equal terms, in societies that are democratic and culturally diverse, also involves access to artistic practices that enhance our imagination, our exposure to the world and our encounters with others.

There is never useless small talk in our INGOs, and although time is sometimes not on our side, we can always continue our discussions beyond this forum, as our perception and our speech, which stem from field realities, from the men and the women that we are, are our strength.

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Thank You.”